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Mubarak, 2 Ministers Fined $90 Million for Telecom Shutdown during Uprising

A Cairo court on Saturday fined ousted president Hosni Mubarak and two ex-ministers $90 million dollars for "damaging the economy" with a telephone and Internet shutdown during Egypt's uprising.

Mubarak, his former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and interior minister Habib al-Adly were jointly "ordered to pay the state 540 million Egyptian pounds from their personal funds," a judicial source said.

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Syria Activists Protest after Security Forces 'Killed Boy in Custody'

Pro-democracy activists in Syria called for fresh protests on Saturday after the alleged torture and killing of a 13-year-old boy by security forces in the flashpoint region of Daraa.

The body of Hamza al-Khatib was returned to his family on Wednesday, following his disappearance after a demonstration on April 29, activists said on their Facebook site, Syrian Revolution 2011.

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Egypt Reopens Rafah Border with Gaza for First Time in 4 Years

Egypt on Saturday reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, allowing people to cross freely for the first time in four years, in a move hailed by Hamas but criticized by Israel.

Among the first to cross the reopened border post were two ambulances ferrying patients from the hitherto-blockaded Gaza Strip for treatment in Egypt as well as a minibus carrying a dozen visitors, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported.

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Kuwaitis Kick Off Rallies for Prime Minister’s Ouster

Around two thousand Kuwaiti youths took to the streets late Friday, despite an unprecedented security presence, to demand the oil-rich Gulf state's prime minister resign.

The demonstrators chanted repeatedly, "The people want to topple the head" of government, a common refrain of anti-regime protests that have spread across the Arab world this year.

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Turkey PM Calls Assad to Press for Reform

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Syrian leader Bashar Assad Friday in another effort to press for reform to end deadly unrest in the Arab country, a government official said.

Erdogan "emphasized again the importance of reform," the official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity, refusing to give other details.

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Bahrain Grants U.N. Mission Access

Bahrain has agreed to host a team of U.N. assessors following a violent crackdown on popular protests earlier this year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said Friday.

"The government of Bahrain has agreed in principle for us to deploy an assessment mission to the country and we welcome this," said spokesman Rupert Colville.

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At Least 8 Dead in Protests as Sarkozy Tells Assad Lead Transition or Go

Syrian security forces killed at least eight people on Friday as anti-regime protests broke out across Syria, including in the capital Damascus, activists said.

"We have three people killed in the southern town of Dael, three others in the Damascus suburb of Qatana, one in the suburb of Zabadani and another in Jableh, located near the coastal city of Latakia," said Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Sarkozy Wants to Visit Libyan Rebels with Cameron

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed Friday he planned to visit the Libyan rebel bastion of Benghazi and hoped to make the trip with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

"We spoke about this with David Cameron. It should be a Franco-British initiative," Sarkozy told reporters after the G8 summit in Deauville, adding that no date had yet been set for the trip to eastern Libya.

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Egyptians Demand New Constitution, Rally for 'Day of Anger'

Egyptians were out on Friday for nationwide rallies to protest against the ruling military council's handling of the post-revolt phase, in a call that has exposed political rifts.

In Cairo, several thousand protesters packed into Tahrir Square -- the symbolic heart of protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February -- for the Muslim Friday prayers.

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Ahmar: Sanaa Truce in Effect, but Ready for War

Yemeni opposition tribal chief Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar said on Friday that there is a truce between his fighters and security forces in Sanaa, but he is ready for war if the embattled president chooses.

"There is a truce between us and (President) Ali Abdullah Saleh" for mediation to take place, said Ahmar, head of the powerful Hashid federation, at a funeral for 30 of his fighters killed in clashes with Saleh's security forces in the capital.

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